Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Conan Doyle and Stoker, together again.

Valancourt Books has just reissued Arthur Conan Doyle's novella of science vs. the occult, The Parasite, and Bram Stoker's smuggling tale The Watter's Mou' (both 1894), which were the first two works in the Constable & Co. series called the Acme Library.

Pairing the creators of Sherlock Holmes and Dracula is not an outlandish idea; they did know each other. In Teller of Tales, Dan Stashower discusses the staging of Conan Doyle's play A Story of Waterloo by Henry Irving (Stoker was Irving's manager at the time), and both writers participated in the round-robin novel The Fate of Fenella (1892). The Valancourt edition of The Parasite and The Watter's Mou' includes a 1907 interview of Conan Doyle by Stoker.

About the images: Arthur Conan Doyle (left); Bram Stoker (right). Conan Doyle: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. Stoker: Virtual Museum, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, from the Illustrated London News.


Martin Edwards said...

Was The Fate of Fenella the first round-robin novel?

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

I think I've addressed this before. The round-robin novel form appeared in the nineteenth century. The most well known of the early round-robin novels are _Six of One by Half a Dozen of the Other: An Every Day Novel_ (1872; ed. Edward E. Hale), _The King's Men_ (1884), and _The Whole Family_ (1908, ed. William Dean Howells). _The Fate of Fenella_ was 1892, which is after the two round-robin novels mentioned above. See Susanna Ashton, _Collaborators in Literary America, 1870-1920_ (Macmillan, 2003).

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks for the info.